Q155 Summary

Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.

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FBI Catalogue: Jones Speaking

FBI preliminary tape identification note: Labeled in part “News 10/30/78”

Date cues on tape:    Tape consistent with identification

People named:
Public figures/National and international names:

Jimmy Carter, U.S. President
Gerald Ford, former U.S. President
Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter’s national security advisor
Andrew Young, U.S. Ambassador to United Nations

Andrei Gromyko, Soviet Foreign Minister
Kenneth David Kaunda, president of Zambia [by reference]
Agostinho Neto, president of Angola [by reference]
Julius Nyerere, president of Tanzania [by reference]
Samora Machel, president of Mozambique [by reference]
Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran
Mohammad Mosaddegh, assassinated president of Iran [by reference]
Moshe Dayan, Israeli Foreign Minister

Mao Tse-Tung, leader of People’s Republic of China
Ferdinand Marcos, president of Philippines

Forbes Burnham, prime minister of Guyana [by reference]

George Meany, labor leader, head of AFL-CIO
Daniel Ellsberg, defense worker who released Pentagon Papers

Bible verses cited:      None


Jim Jones reads the news in an abbreviated recorded session for October 30, 1978.

Perhaps the most notable aspect of this tape is what it does not feature. Jim Jones reads the news in a straightforward manner, with few criticisms of the United States and its allies, and few exaltations of the Soviet Union and the liberation movements that it supports. There is only one reference to the inevitability of nuclear war, and that in the context of a news item reporting that the Soviet Union has called upon world superpowers to engage in dialogue on weapons reduction.

There are also no references to life in Jonestown – no new (or reiterated) rules, no reminders of how wonderful conditions are in the jungle community, no attacks on real or perceived enemies – which, given the fact that Terri Buford has recently left Guyana seemingly the same way that Debbie Layton did several months earlier (and with the same potential for inflicting damage) is remarkable.

Among the items Jones covers in the news:

  • The leaders of several black African nations meet;
  • The Chinese government denounces Chairman Mao’s little red book;
  • Philippine secessionists suffer a defeat;
  • Students demonstrate in Iran;
  • Israel downplays the effects of settlements on the West Bank;
  • The Soviet Union has call for reductions in both nuclear and conventional arms.


FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 6/13/79

In connection with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation into the assassination of U.S. Congressman LEO J. RYAN at Port Kaituma, Guyana, South America, on November 18, 1978, a tape recording was obtained. This tape recording was located in Jonestown, Guyana, South America, and was turned over to U.S. Officials in Guyana and subsequently transported to the United States.

On May 24, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B68-4. This tape was found to contain the following:

JIM JONES reading the daily news of October 30, 1978, from Radio Moscow and Radio Havanna [Havana] and music.

This tape was reviewed and nothing was contained thereon which was considered to be of evidentiary nature or beneficial to the investigation of the murder of Congressman RYAN.

 Differences with FBI Summary:

The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.

 Tape originally posted January 2018.